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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    about / Communications

    General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegates

    At the 2015 session of the Upper New York Annual Conference members elected delegates to the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore., and the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Lancaster, Pa., hosted by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. The following Conference lay and clergy members were elected. 

    General Conference Delegates

    Bill Allen - Clergy 1
    GC Committee Assignment: Conferences
    Current Appointment: Bemus Point UMC
    Cornerstone District
    Phone: 716.338.5484
    Email: billallen@bpumc.com
    Mailing Address: 4954 Bemus-Ellery Rd., Bemus Point, NY 14712
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 2nd time to GC/NEJ
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I believe that I bring a bridge-building attitude and practice to connectional activities. I plan to use that at GC/JC to help people listen and learn from multiple perspectives in order to best understand God’s will for the UMC.

    Scott Johnson - Laity 1
    GC Committee Assignment: Faith and Order
    Church: Buffalo: First UMC
    Niagara Frontier District
    Phone: 716.440.7354
    Email: scottphd@gmail.com
    Mailing Address: 310 Baynes St., Buffalo, NY  14213

    Bill Mudge - Clergy 2
    GC Committee Assignment: Min. and Higher Ed., Superintendency
    Current Appointment: Conference Superintendent serving the Adirondack District
    Phone: 315.292.0850
    Email: billmudge@unyumc.org
    Mailing Address: PO Box 590, Glens Falls, NY  12801

    Greg Forrester - Laity 2
    GC Committee Assignment: General Administration
    Church: Cortland UMC
    Finger Lakes District
    Phone: 347.302.4081
    Email: gforrester@umcor.org
    Mailing Address: 32 N Church St., Cortland, NY  13045
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 3
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? Overall understanding of the UMC - local, national, international and agency ministries.

    Colleen Preuninger - Clergy 3
    GC Committee Assignment: Church and Society 2
    Current Appointment: Extension Ministry: United Methodist Ecumenical Chaplain, Syracuse University
    Phone: 315.527.7383
    Email: cpreunin@syracuse.edu
    Mailing Address: 316 Edwards Dr., Fayetteville, NY  13066
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This is my first time!
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope God will use my gifts to provide witness to the movement of the Holy Spirit within our beloved institution. I will continually seek to bring authentic, intentional, Spirit rooted engagement to this process with the hope and conviction that God will do great things through our delegation this year.

    Riley O'Flynn - Laity 3
    GC Committee Assignment: Global Ministries
    Church: Honeoye Falls UMC
    Genesee Valley District
    Phone: 585.313.7510
    Email: rileyoflynngc@gmail.com 
    Mailing Address: 2025 Rainbow Ln., Lima, NY  14485

    Beckie Sweet - Clergy 4
    GC Committee Assignment: Judicial Administration
    Current Appointment: Conference Superintendent
    Northern Flow District
    Phone: 570.647.8267
    Email: rebekahsweet@unyumc.org
    Mailing Address: 149 Island Branch Rd., Gouverneur, NY  13642
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? General Conference: 1992-worship participant; 2012 - UNYAC Delegate; 2016 - UNYAC Delegate NEJ: 2008- Alternate Delegate; 2012-Delegate; 2016-Delegate
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to be a positive influence in helping the UM General Conference to build a unified vision for Christian discipleship, resourcing conferences and local churches, and governance.

    Carmen Vianese - Laity 4
    GC Committee Assignment: Discipleship
    Church: Nunda UMC
    Genesee Valley District 
    Phone: 585.519.6980
    Email: vianese4@frontiernet.net
    Mailing Address: PO Box 156, Nunda, NY 14517
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This will be my first opportunity to serve at General Conference. It will be my second opportunity to serve at NEJ.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to be able to be a voice of reason during GC committee work and to remain a disciple who is open to prayerful discernment throughout all the process's.

    Thom White Wolf Fassett - Clergy 5
    GC Committee Assignment: Independent Commissions
    Current Appointment: Retired
    Finger Lakes District
    Phone: 607.546.4626
    Email: fassettww@empacc.net
    Mailing Address: PO Box 232, Hector, NY  14841
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? Once before as a delegate, all of them since 1976 as general agency staff/resource/speaker.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? A tenacity to be clear about adopting legislation that will strengthen the teachings of Jesus in our church and societies.

    Marthalyn Sweet - Laity 5
    GC Committee Assignment: Church and Society 1
    Church: Gouverneur First UMC
    Northern Flow District
    Phone: 570.470.6354
    Email: mmmk.sweet@gmail.com
    Mailing Address: 149 Island Branch Rd., Gouverneur, NY  13642
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 0
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope that my biggest contribution to this process will be bringing a level headed, open, and forward thinking perspective to the table.

    John Martin - Clergy 6
    GC Committee Assignment: Financial Administration
    Current Appointment: Adirondack Community Church
    Adirondack District
    Phone: 607.725.5696
    Email: phlppns121@hotmail.com
    Mailing Address: 66 Acorn St., Lake Placid, NY  12946
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This will be my first time!
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to learn and represent my self, my beliefs and the Upper New York Conference well. I believe I will be able to add enthusiasm, joy and a unique perspective to the process.

    Blenda Smith - Laity 6
    GC Committee Assignment: Local Church
    Church: Fairview UMC
    Binghamton District
    Phone: 607.761.0327
    Email: bsmith@binghamton.edu
    Mailing Address: 133 Helen St., Binghamton, NY  13905-3922
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? Twice as an elected delegate (2004, 2008) & once as the Co-Chair of the Act of Repentance Service (2012).
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to be a voice and presence of reason, caring and reconciliation.
     
    Michelle Bogue-Trost - Clergy Alt. 1
    Current Appointment: Central-Endicott
    Binghamton District
    Phone: 518.312.2465
    Email: PastorMichelleBT@gmail.com
    Mailing Address: 101 E. Union St., Endicott, NY  13760
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This will be my fourth.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I believe that my biggest contribution will be my willingness to listen and engage in meaningful dialogue with persons with whom I agree and persons with whom I do not. I am adept at big-picture view and conversation around that.

    Ian Urriola - Laity Alt. 1
    Church: Asbury First UMC
    Genesee Valley District 
    Phone: 585.705.9334
    Email: iurriola1992@gmail.com
    Mailing Address: 636 Keyleigh Dr., Webster, NY  14580
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 0
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to be a voice and resource for my fellow young adults--and all young people for that matter--within the bounds of our Annual Conference and across the connection. It is my hope that other young people see how blessed our delegation is when it comes to diversity of age and feel empowered to step up and claim leadership roles in their local churches and denominational bodies/agencies.

    Holly Nye - Clergy Alt. 2
    Current Appointment: Burnt Hills UMC
    Albany District
    Email: hn@nycap.rr.com
    Mailing Address: 816 Rt. 50, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 2012 - GC and NEJ delegate; 2008 - GC and NEJ observer; 2004 - GC and NEJ reserve delegate/communicator
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to support open, healthy communication and help foster a process of faithful discernment.

    JJ Warren - Laity Alt. 2
    Church: Penn Yan UMC
    Finger Lakes District
    Email: warrenjj97@gmail.com
    Mailing Address: 217 Main St., Penn Yan, NY 14527
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? None.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope I will bring a fresh perspective and a positive attitude centered in God's love. I believe God has chosen this delegation to assist in further discerning God's will for the people of The United Methodist Church.


    Northeastern Jurisdictional (NEJ) Delegates

    In addition to the delegates above, the delegates below also attend the NEJ Conference.

    Cathy Hall Stengel - NEJ Clergy 3
    Current Appointment: Rush United Methodist Church
    Genesee Valley District
    Phone: 585.406.6447
    Email: cathyhallstengel@gmail.com
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? GC - 1; NEJ - 5
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? My willingness to be a part of a gifted team. My commitment to and participation in Holy Conferencing and discernment.

    Ashley Riddell - NEJ Laity 3
    Church: The Road
    Crossroads District
    Phone: 315.406.2210
    Email: ashleyriddell@unyumc.org
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This is my first time! 
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I hope to be a voice from the laity perspective and as a young adult. 

    Sherri Rood - NEJ Clergy 4
    Current Appointment: District Superintendent
    Cornerstone District
    Phone: 585.217.3359
    Email: sherrirood@unyumc.org
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? Prayerful participation as we work to faithfully follow Jesus Christ as United Methodists.

    Julius Archibald - NEJ Laity 4
    Church: Plattsburgh UMC
    Adirondack District
    Phone: 518.561.4395
    Email: archibja@plattsburgh.edu

    Darryl Barrow - NEJ Clergy 5
    Current Appointment: Amherst: Christ UMC
    Niagara Frontier District
    Phone: 315.480.9340
    Email: darryl@christchurchamherst.org 

    Laurel O'Connor - NEJ Laity 5
    Church: Lycoming UMC
    Crossroads District
    Phone: 315.382.0556
    Email: laureloconnor@unyumc.org
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This will be my first time.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? A perspective that includes my experience as a lay person and also as a recent seminary grad on the deacon track.

    Aaron Bouwens - NEJ Clergy 6
    Current Appointment: Director of Vital Congregations for Upper New York
    Phone: 607.591.5780
    Email: aaronbouwens@unyumc.org
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? None
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? I have opportunity to be in conversation with many people throughout the Annual Conference and have a good sense of what is already happening, along with what would be helpful for our local congregations. In light of that I hope to be an advocate for the local congregations.

    Shirley Readdean - NEJ Laity 6
    Church: First UMC Schenectady
    Albany District
    Phone: 518.372.7065
    Email: whirrly@earthlink.net

    Stephen Cady - NEJ Alt. Clergy 7
    Current Appointment: Asbury First UMC
    Genesee Valley District
    Phone: 585.746.1333
    Email: scady@asburyfirst.org
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? 0
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? A thoughtful examination of the current structures with an eye toward fairness and qualified leadership.

    Suzanne Allen - NEJ Alt. Laity 7
    Church: Bemus Point UMC, Cornerstone District
    Email: suzannehallen@bpumc.com
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? Never before 2016
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? My hope is that the jurisdictional conference reveals and lifts up bishops that represent an orthodox theology that carries our UMC into this and future generations with respect and appreciation for Biblical truth and authority.

    Rick LaDue - NEJ Alt. Clergy 8
    Current Appointment: Jamestown: Kidder Memorial
    Cornerstone District
    Phone: 716.969.0432
    Email: rickladue@windstream.net
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? This is my first time as a delegate to NEJ. I attended GC as a visitor in Pittsburgh in 2004 for a couple days.
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? My biggest contribution will be to support our bishop who is leading our conference into a new season of revitalization.

    Hudda Aswad - NEJ Alt. Laity 8
    Church: First UMC Chenango Bridge
    Binghamton District
    Phone: 607.760.5756
    Email: haswad@stny.rr.com
    How many times have you been to GC/NEJ? once to GC and 2 other times to NEJ
    What do you hope/believe your biggest contribution to this process will be? To help the delegates who have never been to GC or NEJ get the feeling of what it's like to be a newbie at such an event - frustrations, joys, communing together, trying to understand other perspectives, etc.


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."